‘Passing On Knowledge and Wisdom Through the Qaspeq’ by Sew Yupik’s Nikki Corbett

Nikki Corbett, known by many as Sew Yupik, is an artist and educator who specializes in qaspeq design and sewing.

I made my first qaspeq when I was around 10 or 11 years old with my sister/cousin/aunt. And then I didn’t pick up sewing a qaspeq again until I was in college in my mid-20s. As a kid I would watch my auntie sew qaspeqs and would just be in awe of her beautiful creations. I longed to be able to sew. The sewing skills I learned at school thanks to my amazing Yup’ik teachers. I am forever thankful for their teachings and it has been a dream of mine to be able to teach and share the knowledge that I learned from grade school, my aunt, and my college qaspeq teachers.

Continue reading ‘Passing On Knowledge and Wisdom Through the Qaspeq’ by Sew Yupik’s Nikki Corbett

‘Alaska Traditional Skills Curriculum Supports Culturally-Informed Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities’ by ASDN Staff

Nova Picks a Fish graphic by Rain Van Den Berg, based on photo by Robyn Chaney. Cold Water Safety and Set Netting Unit.

As high school students with disabilities and their families start to plan for life after their K-12 school experience, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process requires that planning takes place to thoughtfully prepare for any needed supports and skill development to ensure that the transition to adult life is as successful as possible. Many Alaskan students and their families practice traditional Native Alaskan arts and subsistence skills, and a well-rounded transition plan should reflect those family activities alongside career and college readiness. Continue reading ‘Alaska Traditional Skills Curriculum Supports Culturally-Informed Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities’ by ASDN Staff

‘Haa Tóo Yéi Yatee Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi: Our Language is Inside Us – Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) Resilience Project’ by JAMM Staff

Student participants and Athabascan songster Yuxgitsiy George Holly developing songs for the JAMM resilience project.

Juneau Alaska Music Matters‘ (JAMM) resilience project is a series of two Língit songs, Daaḵ Nadéin (“the tide is coming in”) and Yánde Kg̱waláa (“the tide is going to go out”), inspired by conversations with Língit elders and JAMM students. These songs are presented in a music video project that brought together students, staff, musicians, dancers, and elders, showing the rich diversity of Juneauʼs culture and showcasing efforts of multiple organizations in Southeast Alaska to revitalize the Língit language before it is lost forever. This project was filmed both at JAMM school sites and throughout Juneau, home of the Áak’w Kwáan  people. Continue reading ‘Haa Tóo Yéi Yatee Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi: Our Language is Inside Us – Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) Resilience Project’ by JAMM Staff

‘Culture, Collaboration and Creativity!’ by Shelli Franckowiak, 2022 Alaska Elementary Art Teacher of the Year

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, 4th and 5th grade artists at Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School in Wasilla, AK created a 160 foot long alfombra de aserrin (sawdust carpet) on our school’s front sidewalk.

Sawdust Carpets (Alfombras de Aserrin) are one or more layers of colored sawdust laid on the ground as decoration. Sawdust carpets are traditionally created in Mexico and Guatemala and are used as part of Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebration, welcoming Good Friday and Easter processions of religious icons carried through the streets. Although sawdust carpets take days to design and create, it takes only minutes for them to be happily and reverently destroyed by the shuffling feet of participants in religious processions. Continue reading ‘Culture, Collaboration and Creativity!’ by Shelli Franckowiak, 2022 Alaska Elementary Art Teacher of the Year

‘Kuspuk Remote Culture Camp’ by the Kuspuk School District Staff

Blending cultural studies, education curriculum, and summer camp may seem difficult. However, the team at Kuspuk School District has found a way to do all three and continue to grow their Remote Culture Camp which began in 2021.

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Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art 2022

Three pieces of student art on a table with silent auction bid forms in front.This spring, Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art, the statewide celebration and auction of student art from all 54 school districts, made its in-person return to the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Museum. Once again legislators, statewide educational leaders, teachers, and student artists were able to celebrate student artists together.

This is the 7th year that Alaska Council for School Administrators has sponsored the event, collecting art nominated from all over Alaska. Schools shipped pieces to Juneau where ACSA staff and volunteers from the Alaska Arts Education Consortium set up the pieces for display. To kick it all off, ACSA sponsored a reception, bringing educators, administrators and legislators together. Continue reading Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art 2022

‘Slow Looking’ by Nancy Lehnhart at Juneau School District

In my work as the Elementary Visual Art Specialist for the Juneau School District I have for years puzzled about art being an avenue for complex thinking for students. For the last six years, I’ve been very involved with a grant-funded PD project in the Juneau School District called Artful Teaching. We have a large cohort of teachers learning together through workshops and small collegiate study groups called “Art Labs.” We are exploring arts integration and culturally responsive teaching. One of the areas of learning for us has been through Project Zero Harvard and their Visible Thinking routines and practices. I’m experimenting all the time now with how to deepen thinking through art. The following shares a project around students’ school environments. 

Continue reading ‘Slow Looking’ by Nancy Lehnhart at Juneau School District

Alaskan Student Filmmakers Produce “Atmautluak, AK: Our Village Our Home”

Students in the Lower Kuskokwim School District village of Atmautluak, produced this film as part of the GEAR UP Program at the Joann A. Alexie Memorial School. GEAR UP in LKSD includes: drone pilot certification, filmmaking, culinary institutes, tutoring and college readiness activities. GEAR UP liaison, Jeffery Behelsich supported students as they scripted, planned, interviewed, flew drones, filmed, and edited this introduction to Atmautluak.

The Rural Alaska GEAR UP Partnership is a collaboration between Bering Strait School District, Lower Kuskokwim School District, the University of Alaska, Yuut Elitnaurviat and Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) designed to address the needs of students in 37 villages in western Alaska.

‘Wrangell HS Makes the Vans High School Custom Culture Art Program Top 50: You Can Help Their Project Win’ by ACSA Staff

To be awarded the $50,000 grant, the students need your support. The finalists of the competition are selected by vote. You can cast one vote per day until May 6th, by following this link. https://customculture.vans.com/2022/gallery

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To inspire creativity and bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets, Vans Shoes, created the Vans High School Custom Culture Art Program.

Continue reading ‘Wrangell HS Makes the Vans High School Custom Culture Art Program Top 50: You Can Help Their Project Win’ by ACSA Staff

‘Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month’ by Principal Jennifer Schmidt-Hutchins

In September and October of each school year, Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School students and staff research, study, and present the history, culture, and contributions of our ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced this observation in 1968. It was expanded to a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan starting September 15th and concluding October 15th.

Fronteras Charter School students celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month each year in September and October.

Continue reading ‘Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month’ by Principal Jennifer Schmidt-Hutchins